• Major dilemma

    1337005045
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi

    I've been a member here for a few months but only posted a few times, though I've read threads from time to time. I don't really feel I have the experience in sexual matters to post in most threads, though it's certainly "educational" to read others' thoughts!

    I'm posting here this time because I have a dilemma that's far too awkward and embarrassing to share with friends. People here seem friendly and experienced in things I know very little about so I thought maybe it was worth a shot because this issue is preying on my mind.

    A few months ago I developed a crush on the assistant lecturer for one of my university modules, a guy who is probably just a couple of years older than me (I'm 28) and who seems to be as much of a geek as I am. I even thought we were on a similar level wavelength with some of our interests being fairly close. By chance I happened to be in his seminar group so I saw him most weeks of term.

    It all started after I told him that I'm not a confident person and struggle to speak in class. He was really nice about it and over the following weeks helped me out a lot via email when I asked for advice about things I wasn't brave enough to ask in front of the class (which was usually dominated by loud/annoying people anyway). Once I realised I liked him, I knew it would be inappropriate to actually tell him as long as he remained my lecturer so I experienced the pleasure/pain reaction of being able to be i his company, and pining when I wasn't in his lectures.

    I did tell friends about that part, with various responses such as the suggestion I ask him out when lectures were over for the term. I seriously thought about telling him when the end of term came around because our class went to the SU bar together for drinks but missed my chance due to my own nerves and the attention-seeking behaviour of other people in the class. I was also very aware that he'd told us he was going to be helping the main lecturer grade the work we had just handed in and suspected that he'd also be involved with our exams, which we hadn't yet done. I wasn't sure if it was even wise to raise the issue before we had our grades, but I also knew that since this is my last term as an undergraduate, my chances of seeing him again were minimal. In the end I sent him an email at the beginning of the Easter Holiday thanking him for all his help and perhaps being a little too enthusiastic about it. I tried really hard not to be obvious about my crush on him but I have a feeling it slipped through. However, he never responded and I spent the greater part of the Easter Holiday wondering if he knew and whether I'd ever see him again. I even dreamed about him on occasion, though most of the dreams ended in him rejecting me. But all of that made me realise that my crush was getting worse and worse...

    Last week I started to panic about the exam and some aspects I had been struggling with. I emailed him in a panic because he was the lecturer I trusted most and I'd mentioned it before, plus I admit I was curious as to whether he would respond at all after my previous embarrassing email. He did respond this time but didn't mention the last one.

    We had our exam for that module on Friday and he was the invigilator. Unfortunately i had to ask to leave the room for the bathroom which meant he had to escort me outside to make sure I didn't cheat. I was a little embarrassed, of course, but apart from that I was struck by how comfortable I feel with him, when I never usually feel comfortable with guys my age. I had to remind myself it was an exam situation to prevent myself from saying something random and chatty as we walked back to the room. At first I felt a great deal happier after the exam for having seen him for the first time in a month and possibly the last time ever. Later I wondered if I should have broached the subject of my attraction for him after the exam and got back into my daydreams and other thoughts. But then I started to think seriously about what I'd do if I ever did see him again. I really hated the thought of missing an opportunity to get involved with someone who seems so perfect for me.

    Unfortunately I realised that I have no idea about his life outside his academic commitments because he'd never mentioned a partner like some lecturers do in the general course of a discussion, but I felt it would be embarrassing if I admitted my feelings and he said he was already involved with someone. So last night I did the stupid thing. I looked for him on Facebook.

    I found him but forgot that unless you "friend" someone, you can hardly see anything except their networks and friend list. I don't think it would be right to send him a friend invitation while he's still technically my lecturer so I still don't know if he's attached or not. But the one thing I could read was a Note where a few people on his friends list had made comments some years ago and one of them made a gay comment. It could well have been a joke or in a context that is meaningless to me, but of course I felt utterly sick at the thought that I'd just wasted the last 3 months obsessing over a guy who might be gay when I'd been so sure he was straight... I tried to do a little more online digging to find out but can't find anything. One thing I feel strongly is that him rejecting me because I'm the "wrong" sex is a lot more embarrassing than him rejecting me because he's attached or just not attracted to me (both of which would still be embarrassing). But there was a definite glimmer of hope before that even occured to me...now I am just confused and wishing I hadn't even looked on Facebook!

    I have no idea what to do now, if anything!

    1337006986
    Ms HKM [sign in to see picture]
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    Wow, what a predicament. Firstly, don't do anything whilst he's your lecturer as he could loose his job.

    But if you want to dig some more, use http://www.pipl.com

    As for seeing him again, join the alumni if your uni has one maybe?

    1337007314
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    I think the uni does. I'll have a look, though I've no idea if he'd be a part of it because I know he attended a different uni and now teaches both at my uni and his old one. As for him getting into trouble, that's one of the major reasons why I never said anything before. I'd hate to do that because he's a brilliant lecturer and genuinely one of the nicest guys I've ever met. And thank you for your response. I'll have a look at that site.

    1337009416
    TTurtle [sign in to see picture]
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    Ms HKM wrote:

    Wow, what a predicament. Firstly, don't do anything whilst he's your lecturer as he could loose his job.

    Agree with this. Once this no longer becomes and issue, my advice would be the same as the SAS's motto..he (she in your case) who dares wins.

    Trust me, if you don't make the approach you will feel bad for a very long time (as you quite clearly have developed quite the crush on him), whereas if you just come out with it and say look, I like you, I'd like to get to know you better, am I wasting my time here? (or words to that effect) you've got two possible outcomes - 1) he's interested too, happy days 2) he says sorry but yes you are wasting your time.

    If outcome number 2 is what happens then it doesn't matter about the reason, whether its cuz he is gay, in a relationship, not interested in you, made a vow never to date his students, asexual or whatevs - the fact being is you will KNOW and you can move on. It may hurt for a while but trust me it will hurt a lot less and you will get over it a lot quicker than if you're always left feeling "what if..." , and then you'll find someone else and you'll think pah what was all the fuss about anyway.
    I would also set a target and if that's not met then you take that as a sign - in your case it seems like contacting him is done via e-mail, if that truely is the only way of contacting him (though I would always suggest in person but I understand sometimes its much better to write things down) then once the issue of him being your lecturer disappears write him an heartfelt e-mail. Do not expect a reply - you're setting yourself up for a fall again because you'll always be hanging on checking your e-mails 20 times a day - send the mail and try and put it out of your head, give it two weeks, if you get no reply then take it as a sign and move on..if you reveal your feelings to him and he doesn't act swiftly to tell you his that probably says it all.

    I'm not trying to be harsh here Cat Lady I'm really not and I'm sorry if I've upset you, but take it from me because I've been there done that and had my heart crushed so many times by someone who I've genuinly felt a connection to and I know how it feels - in the previous 2 weeks I met a nice lady and I felt we had a really amazing connection, tried to get her out on a proper first date and she basically ignored my attempts to arrange it by saying she'd call back later etc. and needless to say she didn't - my cut off was Friday 5.30pm just gone and after that it was not worth it and onwards and upwards, and I feel a lot more relieved now I've let it go. Your situation is perhaps more indepth since you've grown quite attached to this man it seems and letting go will be harder but the principle is the same - set yourself a reasonable limit and once that has been reached let it go otherwise you will just be beating yourself up forever over it and that is so much worse than the pain of rejection.

    I do hope it works out for the best for you though I really do, rooting for you

    1337009918
    kinkycop [sign in to see picture]
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    As Ms HKM he could lose his job, professional standards and Uni policies could cause trouble!

    I think it be the same for my work placement officer on my word programme! :(

    The police has the similar polices too! you could be married to a police officer but you can't kiss, or hug when they in uniform in public! its force polices and you OH could lose their job or at least get a warning!

    Mind you I be the quickest to point out polices if I was accused of such relationship and be very denying, and obstructed managers and investigations in away I could!

    But I would advise you to let this wait until you finish you course! if he gets the hit you fancy him, he may want to have a talk in private about it in a professional way of course of the matter!

    1337010249
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    Thanks TTurtle, I know you're right. I need closure one way or the other, it's just working out how that is the problem because we don't really get to see lecturers after they stop being our lecturers (except by chance) so email probably is the only option here. If he were a permanent member of staff with an office that would be different but it doesn't apply here. It's just rough because I never get to meet guys so I thought perhaps I might get lucky for once.

    alwayssingle:( that is WEIRD about the police! Never knew that...

    1337010700
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    My course is all but finished though, I have 2 more exams to go and no more lectures at all. So once our essay and exam for that module is graded he won't be my lecturer any more.

    1337012706
    Blueeyes82 [sign in to see picture]
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    One thing that worries me is an obsessive trait you have with him.

    Whilst he is a lecturer, you and him in a relationship is a no go. In theory, academics shouldn't really associate on a very social level with their students, it's deemed unappropriate and can cause many headaches on a staff level (ex-uni employee, seen and dealt with this type of thing many a time).

    I think you need to take a step back from him, if I am completely honest. You seem like a nice lass but your post is slightly worrying (please don't take offense to this). You've caughty yourself in this web of feelings, with nothing from his side to validate how you feel and that can drive a person crazy. I am sure many people have been in a similar position. But in reality, what seems fantastic and almost like love now, never really ends that way.

    1337014127
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    Well, I do know the probability of it working out is mininal, but I do think I need some form of closure so I can stop myself having these feelings sooner rather than later. He was always really informal and friendly with the class, though whether that's due to being younger than most lecturers or just a personal preference I have no idea. But I noticed on a number of occasions that other people in the class spoke to him in ways that I considered inappropriate and he never made them stop when I thought he should have. Personally, I've always tried to be respectful and appropriate in any contact I had with him.

    1337014967
    kinkycop [sign in to see picture]
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    aww Cat Lady of course its his job to be friendly, yes most tutor at my college and uni courses are informal too, its an open & relax place to be to enjoy! its not a school!

    Its very hard to control feelings, it took me 7 years to get over feels I had for a girl! that ended in tears and almost my life!

    If you think of him all the time, and grown attractive to him, yes you say you have things in common, understandable but I would say its easy to mistake obsession for love! you are at the attractive stage of the obsessive love wheel?

    so what are your feelings when other girls talk to him..?

    1337016398
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    Mostly it doesn't bother me except that I feel bad when I've been too nervous to join group discussions in a class full of people I don't know. The only time it's really bothered me was when these 2 female students in their 40s would make sexual innuendos to him and generally disrupt the class with irrelevant discussions. I just can't excuse that even though he laughed it off most of the time. I just don't think it's right for 2 women to talk to a younger man like that especially when he's their lecturer. And they were the same in one of my other classes too, albeit with an older lecturer who seemed to encourage it!

    I should probably point out here that I'm very inexperienced in romantic matters (a truly shameful admission at 28, I know) so that doesn't help me because I've not really had to deal with an attraction on this level before. Anything else has either been actor crushes, which are obviously forlorn hopes, or something that fizzled out fairly quickly. So I don't know what stage I'm at. Obviously attracted to him both physically and mentally. If it was purely physical I think I'd be over him by now. I may be a little obsessed but honestly, I think that's the uncertainty and lack of closure. If he'd mentioned a partner or it had been morally possible to deal with this before, I'd probably not be feeling like this now.

    I certainly wouldn't go as far to call it love though. I know that isn't the right feeling and it's not animal lust either. The closest comparison i can make (and I must flaunt my geekiness here) is with a medieval knight longing for an unattainable noblewoman, so a sort of powerful longing is my main emotion here.

    1337017843
    kinkycop [sign in to see picture]
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    aaaw hugs! I understand! mature ladies get away with anything.

    I am the same too 21 and never had a girlfriend I think I been chasing older ladies that done it in for me!

    If he know you fancy him, he may want to talk about it etc, but this is very unlikely! once you finished your course , then you could try. if you have the same intrests try & meet there when your not a student anymore!

    1337018673
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    Yeah, I think I'll just have to wait a bit longer before I can finally get the closure I need. I'll be heading home in a few weeks anyway and if I get the grades I want I'll be taking a postgrad course at another university far awar so perhaps the distance will help.

    Nice to know I'm not the only inexperienced one though.

    1337019070
    ShaftMaster [sign in to see picture]
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    My advice would be definately not to do anything until he end of the term, possibly not until grauation as that's when you are technically no longer a student.

    As for facebook though, I know a few lecturers from my old uni who don't "friend" their students, but are more than happy to after the course, as a way of staying in contact with people. And as for the gay comment, that could have been anything, and not something I would worry about too much.

    1337019336
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    Ah thanks, that makes sense, although if I wait until graduation that's not until November, even though we finish exams at the end of this month and get our results in July!

    1337020515
    kinkycop [sign in to see picture]
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    yeah my tutor did that!! eveyone tried adding him, but rejected every one of them because of college policy! and professional standards

    1337021034
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    It never even occured to me to look for lecturers on Facebook until I wanted to know if this particular guy was attached and then it was purely to spare myself possible embarrassment. I can see the point afterwards if there are interests in common because of academic networking etc but I agree that it's a bit weird before then.

    I made a point of not adding senior managers at my former employers to my Facebook friends when I still worked in my old job, because I thought it was unprofessional and unnecessary, and now I've left there's no point because we didn't really interact on a social level beyond office parties and I don't want to associate myself with that company any more.

    1337029422
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    I don't know if my uni is more laid back but I was friends on FB with a lecturer during my undergrad and now I'm post grad (and technically a student but classed as staff) I'm friends with a few. Will drink with them and socialise with them too from time to time. It's a lot more laid back than my previous education but maybe that's just the rules at my uni.

    Relationship is out of the question but FB friends I'm not sure if there's an issue - maybe check your university's rules?

    Adx

    1337030085
    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    I could do. I'm leaving this uni shortly anyway and will (hopefully) be going to a different uni for my postgrad course in which case there shouldn't be any moral issues either way. I suppose Facebook would be a starting point but I'm still unsure since we have ungraded work which to me still counts as the student-lecturer barrier.

    1337031165
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    Cat Lady wrote:

    I could do. I'm leaving this uni shortly anyway and will (hopefully) be going to a different uni for my postgrad course in which case there shouldn't be any moral issues either way. I suppose Facebook would be a starting point but I'm still unsure since we have ungraded work which to me still counts as the student-lecturer barrier.

    As long as it's marked anonymously it should be ok :P!

    No harm adding him and him deciding if it's appropriate to accept?

    Adx

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